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9mm 1911 for a Bullseye, Service Pistol and Centerfire 900

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john bickar
LenV
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Arthur
Chase Turner
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chiz1180
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Post by chiz1180 Wed May 29, 2024 10:21 pm

I recently have completed (well mostly) my 9mm 1911 build. I built it to be a service pistol or potential metallic CF option. Basic idea metallic sights (nope, not putting a dot on this) 4lb trigger. The theory behind this build was ammo availability, in general 9mm ammo is highly available, and I have Atlanta Arms available locally as well. It also seemed like it would be a nice challenging build.


So for fun I will respond to the stereotypical responses for points people bring up with shooting a centerfire caliber other than 45 ACP or another CF caliber. If I miss any, feel free to let me know, I can defend my poor (maybe) decisions. 


“You should shoot a 45, it's easier to learn 2 guns instead of 3”
Already have a 45 in both the wadgun and ballgun flavors. If your fundamentals are solid, I feel that the gun (assuming it is capable) is not as critical. In fact I typically learn quite a bit shooting different guns on an occasion. 


“You should have built a 38 wadcutter or a 38 super”
Already have the 38 wadcutter. 38 super ammo is not readily available, this would mean reloading another caliber for one specific gun. Not as appealing as the 9mm where I can go buy ammo for it just about anywhere that sells ammo. A super does have potential for a future build (because why not?).


“But a 32 has marginally more recoil than a 22!”
Can’t shoot a 32 in a service pistol match (yes I know much of Europe utilized 32 caliber service pistols in WW1, that particular caliber did not stand the test of time in the service application). Also much like the 38 wadcutter or 38 super previously mentioned, a special caliber to load and with harder to find components. With the 9mm, I can shoot it for both a CF 900 and a service pistol match, much more versatility. 


“A 45 will score higher than a 9mm”
100 percent true, I do not disagree with this at all. However I don’t worry about the score when I am shooting, when I am shooting I worry about shooting to the best of my ability and let the score shake out at the end. 


“Old, fat and slow works”
100%, definitely not bailing on my 45s just adding variety.


“You need to run hot loads for the gun to be accurate”
Thus far I have run mostly factory or book load jacketed ammo. Winchester white box (and other similar loads) is not a hot load and It actually is rather pleasant to shoot. I am of the opinion that if people spent more time dry firing and conditioning to shoot a match instead of chasing the absolute lightest possible loads, scores across the board would be higher. 


So TL:DR, I built a 9mm 1911, I have been enjoying shooting it. A 9mm has its place and in certain circumstances it is a fantastic option. Is it the best option, probably not for everyone. Photo below because people like pictures more than words.


9mm 1911 for a Bullseye, Service Pistol and Centerfire 900 9mm_1910

I have shot two NMCs with the gun at this point, a 267-5 and a 270-11 (TF target shown from the 2nd NMC, also had a miss in that particular NMC.. opps…), this is roughly on par with my 45 service guns. I have not had the motivation to put the gun in a ransom rest yet, but all indications seem to point that the gun is capable. Looking forward to running this in a few matches soon.


Last edited by chiz1180 on Wed Jun 12, 2024 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by MkFiji Thu May 30, 2024 9:59 am

Looks good!

What kind of work did you do to it?

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Post by chiz1180 Thu May 30, 2024 12:47 pm

MkFiji wrote:Looks good!

What kind of work did you do to it?
Full build. Started with slide and frame, got it all together and I parkerized the lower. Still need to finish up the slide and the front sight needs some tweaking to get it to my liking. Project has being in progress for about 2 years now, worked on it here and there type of thing. I basically have been doing function testing with some training incorporated, basically to get the best use of my time. It was not my first build, but I definitely learned a lot to put towards the next one.
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Post by Chase Turner Thu May 30, 2024 7:08 pm

Like how you got ahead of the usual litany of, well, it has always struck me as a bit of unsolicited advice, though I admit that most do in fact mean well.

Still, are you really a BE shooter if you haven't tried to collect all the relevant CF flavors of pistol and use them in a match?

Full disclosure, I like 9MM because it is cheaper to shoot and can be made to have a similar recoil impulse as the 45. This makes training ammo not feel quite as precious, and so I don't fret as much about the ammo bill, which also means I can focus more on practice. Dry fire is great, but you eventually have to shoot rapid fire, and there is no better practice than live fire for that. My 2 cents, anyway.

Pretty pistol, hope it treats you well.

-Chase

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Post by Arthur Thu May 30, 2024 7:40 pm

When I borrowed Dads pickup to bring home a bike he said "You're old enough to make your own bad decisions." 

Just having fun, please don't mind. Enjoy the new gun, it's a looker. 

All the best, 
Arthur

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Post by chiz1180 Thu May 30, 2024 9:30 pm

Chase Turner wrote:Like how you got ahead of the usual litany of, well, it has always struck me as a bit of unsolicited advice, though I admit that most do in fact mean well.

Still, are you really a BE shooter if you haven't tried to collect all the relevant CF flavors of pistol and use them in a match?

Full disclosure, I like 9MM because it is cheaper to shoot and can be made to have a similar recoil impulse as the 45. This makes training ammo not feel quite as precious, and so I don't fret as much about the ammo bill, which also means I can focus more on practice. Dry fire is great, but you eventually have to shoot rapid fire, and there is no better practice than live fire for that. My 2 cents, anyway.

Pretty pistol, hope it treats you well.

-Chase
I agree about unsolicited advice. Managing expectations I think is important too, I didn't and still do not think that 9mm is magical, it is just one option in playing the game. 

I don't think I set out to collect all the CF flavors, but when I think about it I am not really missing too many....

+1 to 9mm being cheaper to shoot, which I think is really the only major positive outside the 45 is the cost per round being significantly less. This was a major part of my decision to go with 9 for the build. Time will tell if this will influence my decision to train for service pistol, I typically have put minimal effort in that department.

I still probably have a bit of the "new gun syndrome" but thus far I am happy with the direction I went. I still have some tweaks I would like to make to the gun, get some gun specific load development, and importantly shoot a match with it.
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Post by Orpanaut Thu May 30, 2024 10:45 pm

I don't know about the long line, but I've shot enough 9mm loads of various sorts at 25 yards to say that you shouldn't need "hot" 9mm ammo to clean targets on the short line.

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Post by james r chapman Fri May 31, 2024 5:13 am

Orpanaut wrote:I don't know about the long line, but I've shot enough 9mm loads of various sorts at 25 yards to say that you shouldn't need "hot" 9mm ammo to clean targets on the short line.
I’ve only found it difficult to find soft 9mm at the the LGS or corner hardware.  Wink
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Post by Froneck Fri May 31, 2024 6:57 am

When Adan was still in the AMU they were working on a 9mm 1911 claiming it was better that the Beretta 9mm they were issued (yes it was worked on to make it accurate for competition) Quite a few of the AMU shooters were using 208s that were modified so at quick glance they looked like 1911 for the one gun feel. Gunsmiths did developed a Walther 32 to shoot very small groups, those that tried it in competition noticed the center fire score increased but 45 score decreased due to the Walther not feeling the same breaking the one gun feel.
 So if it's good for the AMU is should be a good addition to the one gun feel.

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Post by chiz1180 Fri May 31, 2024 9:24 am

james r chapman wrote:
Orpanaut wrote:I don't know about the long line, but I've shot enough 9mm loads of various sorts at 25 yards to say that you shouldn't need "hot" 9mm ammo to clean targets on the short line.
I’ve only found it difficult to find soft 9mm at the the LGS or corner hardware.  Wink
I guess it depends on what you consider hot, I have found the typical off the shelf stuff to be rather pleasant. It isn't like we are talking 357, 41mag, 44 mag, ect.
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Post by james r chapman Fri May 31, 2024 11:25 am

chiz1180 wrote:
james r chapman wrote:
Orpanaut wrote:I don't know about the long line, but I've shot enough 9mm loads of various sorts at 25 yards to say that you shouldn't need "hot" 9mm ammo to clean targets on the short line.
I’ve only found it difficult to find soft 9mm at the the LGS or corner hardware.  Wink
I guess it depends on what you consider hot, I have found the typical off the shelf stuff to be rather pleasant. It isn't like we are talking 357, 41mag, 44 mag, ect.
True, it’s the same velocity as .22 standard velocity, my idea of soft is 147 gr at sub 800 fps, or maybe a nice 126 gr lead swc at about the same.
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Post by Chase Turner Fri May 31, 2024 6:24 pm

james r chapman wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:
james r chapman wrote:
Orpanaut wrote:I don't know about the long line, but I've shot enough 9mm loads of various sorts at 25 yards to say that you shouldn't need "hot" 9mm ammo to clean targets on the short line.
I’ve only found it difficult to find soft 9mm at the the LGS or corner hardware.  Wink
I guess it depends on what you consider hot, I have found the typical off the shelf stuff to be rather pleasant. It isn't like we are talking 357, 41mag, 44 mag, ect.
True, it’s the same velocity as .22 standard velocity, my idea of soft is 147 gr at sub 800 fps, or maybe a nice 126 gr lead swc at about the same.

Jim, is sub 800 for a 147 used in some other discipline, or was it a practice round you used for PPC, or ? Was that jacketed, also, or lead?

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Post by Chase Turner Fri May 31, 2024 6:54 pm

chiz1180 wrote:I agree about unsolicited advice. Managing expectations I think is important too, I didn't and still do not think that 9mm is magical, it is just one option in playing the game. 

I don't think I set out to collect all the CF flavors, but when I think about it I am not really missing too many....

+1 to 9mm being cheaper to shoot, which I think is really the only major positive outside the 45 is the cost per round being significantly less. This was a major part of my decision to go with 9 for the build. Time will tell if this will influence my decision to train for service pistol, I typically have put minimal effort in that department.

I still probably have a bit of the "new gun syndrome" but thus far I am happy with the direction I went. I still have some tweaks I would like to make to the gun, get some gun specific load development, and importantly shoot a match with it.

Since the last check in on the 230 ball project, all of my training efforts now are on rapid fire. Additionally, I'm shooting metallic sights at Perry this year. Not yet sure on teams how i'll go, but the captains instructions to the team for CF/45 will be to shoot your wadgun, but if you need the time with your ball gun, take it. Our team is blessed with some good shooters, so we won't be migrating to the bottom of the list no matter which way we equip ourselves (and we certainly won't be scoring assholes like one shooter on one of the sponsored teams I've witnessed this year). Have a shooter we need to get distinguished this year, so I'm supporting them by shooting irons at Perry, which is the work they are putting in themselves since the Dixie Matches. I have high hopes; a shared struggle can push you to do and be better.

And speaking of those efforts, I start my training sessions with the 9MM wadgun from RR for a box or two, and then turn in the rest of practice on the 230 ball gun. It comes and goes, but the experience of shooting hardball really has informed me about how to apply the fundamentals. If your fundamentals work with hardball, then there should be no question on the remainder. I've seen Clegg shoot into the 880s with a 9MM, and as I scored him, I don't recall him saying, "gosh, I could have had one more point," as a function of the size of the hole. Of course, this was just one match (maybe 2?), and was also from someone who can shake his pockets and drop national championship trophies from them.

All that to say, glad to see someone else keep pushing, and keep learning. When folks say stuff like a 9MM can't score as high (as just mentioned, I've seen the best at it), I have to wonder if they are transferring their failures to equipment because the ego can't tolerate the decline from some average they are guarding. Because these same criticisms don't seem to come from the other side, that your 22 score is going to be smaller because of the smaller hole, I've always thought that there was probably a bit of unknown analysis that gets promulgated as fact, when it isn't clear the layers at which we are speaking.

Keep it up- love to see people write in on what they have learned from going back to basics. It benefits everybody.

-Chase

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Post by james r chapman Fri May 31, 2024 7:24 pm

Chase
I can’t find the info, but, I remember getting this email from a Border Patrol Team member years ago.

Hey Jim,
 
He shot the 600 during his extra match, no pressure!!  We are shooting 115 grn JHP Hornady HAP or Precision Delta bullets with 5.1 grains of Ramshot Silhouette, and any primer.  You can reduce the powder to 4.9 for indoor, but the 5.1 shoots the best group at 50 yards.  Winchester AutoComp is pretty close to the Silhouette too.
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Post by chiz1180 Fri May 31, 2024 8:30 pm

Chase,

I agree whole heartily on training rapid fire, if you have rapid down that is the majority of the match. Also glad to see that you are choosing to shoot metallic. It is disheartening to hear people discount metallic sights cause it’s “too hard”. Also good to hear (probably reading between the line a bit here) that people are motivated to give California the old “hello there”, not sure if I am going to shoot team stuff this year, it is my preference to give newer shooters the opportunity. That said in the scoring department, I abide by the “score hard, but fair” approach. benefit of the doubt clearly goes to the shooter, but “giving” people points isn’t fair to everybody else. I also will not accept a score higher that what I shot (eg, scorer math errors, miss being a 10, ect.). I am currently not Service Pistol distinguished, but I do have my hard leg, im in no rush to get the badge, It will happen when it happens. I have said it before, service pistol matches are extremely educational and fun, more people should put in the effort to them. Still am undecided about what I will shoot at Perry (metallic, 9mm CF/service), will probably figure it out when I get there.

As to 9mm not being able to score as high, I discussed 9mm Pro/cons with Henderson, he has shot 9mm with great success, and shot for a season with a 9mm CF gun that was equivalent to his 45, his 45 scores were higher. That said his scores at the time were significantly higher than the average shooter, so not a completely fair comparison to the average guy, but a good anecdote. My outlook on this little endeavor, is so what if it is a bit harder to get a higher score? For me this game is about enjoying the shooting, the numbers on the score sheet are not near as enjoyable as putting some good shots together.

Will update this thread once I get some meaningful miles on the build. I shot it in league last night, had a lot of fun with it.
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Post by Froneck Sat Jun 01, 2024 6:07 am

The 9mm can shoot if like the 45acp the gun is worked on. AMU has been winning service matches using worked on Beretta 9mm. Adam won the National Match twice, Presidents 100 and member of the Army winning National match team (all members shooting the Beretta 9mm) at least 15 times! Match is not limited to the 9mm and in the last few years the CMP has allowed the 1911 9mm to be used.

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Post by Chase Turner Sat Jun 01, 2024 8:56 am

chiz1180 wrote:...

As to 9mm not being able to score as high, I discussed 9mm Pro/cons with Henderson, he has shot 9mm with great success, and shot for a season with a 9mm CF gun that was equivalent to his 45, his 45 scores were higher. That said his scores at the time were significantly higher than the average shooter, so not a completely fair comparison to the average guy, but a good anecdote. My outlook on this little endeavor, is so what if it is a bit harder to get a higher score? For me this game is about enjoying the shooting, the numbers on the score sheet are not near as enjoyable as putting some good shots together.

I really should have qualified what I was attempting to say better; let me try again. It's not that I disbelieve the super HMs who have reported this phenomena, as it's pretty clear they have a perspective I struggle to imagine. Also, Clegg may in fact know his 45 scores are better than his 9, but that particular bit didn't come up- just want to make it clear he wasn't upset with his results shooting a 9, and he didn't seem to think was a disservice. This is just an experience I had, and I certainly don't speak for the guy. It was just what I noticed a couple times, is all.

I do find it amusing when people talk about this as, like you say, score is king. Maybe for some folks, sure. If that's what you need to get out of this sport, have at it. If I shoot well, I'll have a good score. If I don't, then I won't. So I don't really think about the numbers. My the focus is on the enjoyment of making a good shot or target. Different strokes for different folks.

Look forward to next report!

-Chase

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Post by swissyhawk Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:02 pm

Shoot what you enjoy.
Enjoy what you shoot.

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Post by chiz1180 Sat Jun 01, 2024 8:43 pm

Chase,

I didn't mention it here earlier but I do have some personal data that I shoot my 45 better than my 38 wadcutter, not to say that I am some hard hitting top shooter, just a guy that enjoys the game. The shooter is the key factor not the equipment, a gun might group at 50 in a rest but I don't thing a ransom rest could clean a rapid target. 100% on your thoughts on the score is king vs enjoying shooting a good shot or target. I think that is one area that people often overlook. People try so hard to achieve numerical scores, get a badge or classification that they overlook the simple enjoyment of the game. 

Not much to report on the 9mm project today, I shot revolver for CF in the match today, reinforced some fundamentals with it and got more comfortable with a completely different platform. Ohio State Service Match is next weekend though, so hopefully I will have something to report then.
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Post by Froneck Sun Jun 02, 2024 7:49 am

The score is test results of what was learned in shooting skill. If it were a math test it would be like taking the test with a calculator that didn't work well.  Shooting is a challenge, the score you want to beat is your previous best score! Equipment used should be like the accurate calculator and give the results as data was put in. Bad data in will result in bad data out, you strive to put good data in so as to get accurate data out. What is not acceptable is Good data in but inaccurate data out! Then it's time for another calculator. So why shoot a gun that is either inaccurate or not being able to shoot accurate with?

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Post by chiz1180 Sun Jun 02, 2024 6:49 pm

Froneck wrote:The score is test results of what was learned in shooting skill. If it were a math test it would be like taking the test with a calculator that didn't work well.  Shooting is a challenge, the score you want to beat is your previous best score! Equipment used should be like the accurate calculator and give the results as data was put in. Bad data in will result in bad data out, you strive to put good data in so as to get accurate data out. What is not acceptable is Good data in but inaccurate data out! Then it's time for another calculator. So why shoot a gun that is either inaccurate or not being able to shoot accurate with?
Score is a metric that can be used to evaluating shooting performance, however it can also be a false barometer. For example my current best NMC I have shot with the 9mm was a 270-11x, respectable score in many circles, definitely not setting the world on fire. However the one key failing in that score was a on paper miss. The other NMCs I have shot have been in the 263-269 range with all shots scoring. I would argue that the lower scoring NMCs are "better shooting" than the higher score with the miss. So yes score can be a reasonable metric, but the I would argue that a better evaluation of shooting would be more along the lines of this, lets say in a string of 5 shots, 3-4 shots are good, 1-2 shots are not. Well can I identify what caused the shots that were not good? To me it is far more important to understand the process and what potentially went wrong so that I can correct it, rather than what the numerical score turns out to be at the end. 

I understand where you are coming from but you are also missing the point. I 100% realize that a 1911 in 9mm isn't anything new, plenty of examples of the use exist. The point was to 1, build the gun such that it was suitable to compete with (I would argue that was fairly successful), and second evaluate if this is something that will benefit my needs long term without relaying on the repeated 2nd or even 3rd hand lore surrounding the 9mm platforms (needing to run hot loads, harder to shoot higher scores, ect.) using my own experiences.
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Post by Froneck Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:30 pm

As I said the AMU was at the time Adam was there, in addition Adam won the Bianchi match with  1911 9mm race gun. So nothing wrong with 9mm! I agree with what you are trying to do. the 1911 in 9mm keeps the one gun feel that everyone wants. Conversions to shoot .22 on 1911 frame are popular so are imports with 1911 type grips.

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Post by LenV Mon Jun 03, 2024 5:31 pm

I have never found the 1911 9mm recoil to be excessive. I've always reloaded near the upper end and have found them very fun to shoot. If hot is more accurate then load them hot. In all fairness I'm not Itty bitty. My latest fun gun entry into my Bullseye collection proves I also make some questionable life decisions.  Laughing
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8.0 gr Power Pistol
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Post by john bickar Mon Jun 03, 2024 6:08 pm

Why you gotta make fun of old, fat, and slow?

I feel persecuted.
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Post by chiz1180 Mon Jun 03, 2024 6:34 pm

Len, Does the 10mm brass act like 10mm sockets and just magically disappear?
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